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How to self-quarantine at home: HMC offers tips as Qatar prepares to reopen borders
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How to self-quarantine at home: HMC offers tips as Qatar prepares to reopen borders

Catherine W Gichuki
As August 1 approaches and those returning to Qatar from COVID-19 low risk countries are expected to undergo a seven- day period of home quarantine following their return to Qatar, Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) is reminding the community on the precautions they should take at home to limit the spread of the disease.
According to the information in collaboration with the Ministry of Public Health, HMC and Primary Health Care Corporation those doing home quarantine should stay at home in a room with ensuite bathroom separated from other family members, and ensure proper and regular ventilation. They should also avoid any contact with other family members and should not allow visitors into the house as well as pets.
According to HMC Communicable Disease Center Medical Director Dr Muna Al Maslamani those on home quarantine should use their phone if they need to contact anyone else in the house as well as pets. “Ask others - a family members or friend - to run errands for you like buying food or medicine,” she said.
In addition, they must not leave their house and in the event of a medical emergency they should call 999. “Only one member of the family should be allowed to provide care to you. Your caregiver should wear a facemask and gloves every time he or she enters your room and should dispose of the mask and gloves and wash their hands immediately after leaving the room. A distance of at least 1.5 meters shall be maintained between you and your caregiver at all times, “ said Dr Al Maslamani.
According to the advice, those on home quarantine should avoid cooking or preparing food for others and should avoid entering the kitchen. “Eat your food in your room and avoid eating or drinking with other people in the house. Be careful to wash your dishes separately from others in the house. Make sure to eat healthy food that strengthens your immunity system. Make sure to drink enough water (8-12 glasses a day),” she said.
More to that in case one has a chronic health condition and requires regular medication, he/she should ensure they have adequate supply available at home.
Also they should not come into direct contact with children and should use simple ways to explain the situation to children.
They should also make sure that there is a closed trash bin in your room. “Place a plastic bag in your trash bin and ensure the plastic bag is tightly sealed before you throw it.”
Besides, they should get enough sleep and rest.
In order to protect themselves and others from the infection, one should wash their hands with water and soap frequently, with the correct technique, for at least 20 seconds, or use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol if water and soap is not available.
In addition everyone in the house should wash their hands regularly and avoid touching their face, mouth or nose and cover the mouth with a tissue while coughing or sneezing and dispose off the tissue immediately in a lined trash bin. Wash your hands immediately after.” If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow.”
Personal household items like dishes, drinking glasses, eating utensils, toothbrushes, clothes, pillows, bed linen, or towels  should not be shared with other people in the  house and wash these items thoroughly with soap and warm water after use. “Surfaces and used items should also be cleaned and disinfected at least once a day, including door handles, toilets, tables, TV remote controls, mobile phones, and all other high touch surfaces and items. Single-use gloves should be used when cleaning and Make sure your clothes washed separately from other people’s clothes in the house,” she said.
According to a recent announcement by the government those who are eligible for a home quarantine include those arriving to Qatar from Brunei Darussalam, Vietnam, China, Thailand, Malaysia, New Zealand, Malta, Finland, Hungary, South_Korea, Estonia, Norway, Lithuania, Latvia, Japan, Cyprus, Ireland, Greece, Italy, Slovakia, Denmark, Morocco, Poland, France, Australia, Canada, Slovenia, Belgium, United Kingdom, Czechia, Austria, Switzerland, Algeria, Turkey , Iceland, Spain, Croatia and Andorra.

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